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Wrana wins Players’ Championship for first Grand Slam women’s title

TORONTO — Isabella Wranå’s dream of winning her first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title came true at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship.

Wranå and her Swedish squad defeated Silvana Tirinzoni’s Swiss side 6-5 during Sunday’s women’s final at Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The team of Wranå, third Almida de Val, second Maria Larsson and lead Linda Stenlund scored $40,000 for the title victory plus an additional $40,000 for finishing second in the Pinty’s Cup season points standings.

“It feels very good,” Wranå said. “We have had many years where we’ve had this big dream. To play in the final has been a big dream for me and my teammates. It just feels awesome to be able to do this now.”

Wranå never trailed against the four-time reigning world champion Tirinzoni and broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth end with a solid open hit to score three critical points.

After Tirinzoni was forced to a single in the fifth, Wranå took two more points in the sixth to build a 6-2 advantage.

Although Tirinzoni cut the deficit in half in the seventh, it was a bit of a missed opportunity with the potential to score three. Fourth Alina Pätz attempted a split but didn’t hit the guard hard enough as only her shooter rolled in.

“We started off learning a bit, again,” said Wranå, who shot a team-leading 88 per cent. “When we took the three points, I think we had a really, really good end then we just kept on going from there.

“We had to make a couple of good shots to hold them a bit short in the seventh end as well but other than that, it was a really nice game from my team.”

That handed Wranå the hammer for the final frame with a two-point lead. Tirinzoni sat the tying two points, however, Wranå just had to blast one out of the house to secure the title.

“I enjoyed it,” Wranå said. “I wasn’t too nervous because those hard takeouts are the easiest shot to have as a last one as a skip, I would say.”

It was a sensational week for Wranå, who earned a bye to the semifinals with a 4-1 round-robin record and defeated Canada’s Kerri Einarson 10-3 in the semifinals to reach her first championship game in the series.

Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Pätz, second Carole Howald and lead Briar Schwaller-Hürlimann banked $25,000 as runners-up and $10,000 for finishing fourth in the Pinty’s Cup.

Einarson already clinched the Pinty’s Cup by reaching the semis. This was the first Grand Slam all season Einarson missed the final and snapped a sensation six-event streak that began right here at last year’s Princess Auto Players’ Championship.